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Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus

Book II - I. Iuvencus Leo et Praedator (Perry 487)

Super iuvencum stabat deiectum leo.
praedator intervenit, partem postulans.
'Darem' inquit 'nisi soleres per te sumere';
et improbum reiecit. forte innoxius
viator est deductus in eundem locum,
feroque viso rettulit retro pedem.
cui placidus ille 'Non est quod timeas' ait,
'et quae debetur pars tuae modestiae
audacter tolle'. tunc diviso tergore
silvas petivit, homini ut accessum daret.
Exemplum egregium prorsus et laudabile;
verum est aviditas dives et pauper pudor.

The Judicious Lion (trans. C. Smart)

A Lion on the carcass stood
Of a young heifer in the wood;
A robber that was passing there,
Came up, and ask'd him for a share.
"A share," says he, "you should receive,
But that you seldom ask our leave
For things so handily removed."
At which the ruffian was reproved.
It happen'd that the selfsame day
A modest pilgrim came that way,
And when he saw the Lion, fled:
Says he, " There is no cause of dread,
In gentle tone-take you the chine,
Which to your merit I assign."-
Then having parted what he slew,
To favour his approach withdrew.
A great example, worthy praise,
But not much copied now-a-days!
For churls have coffers that o'erflow,
And sheepish worth is poor and low.

Latin text from Phaedrus at The Latin Library (Ad Fontes), English translations from The Fables of Phaedrus Translated into English Verse by Christopher Smart (London: 1913). Ben Perry, Babrius and Phaedrus (Loeb), contains the Latin texts of Phaedrus, with a facing English translation, along with a valuable appendix listing all the Aesop's fables attested in Greek and/or in Latin. Invaluable.